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A Sit Down with DJ Jon Gaiser

06:21 Oct/11/2017

"Music is like food, you wouldn’t want to eat the same thing everyday"

Hailing from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Gaiser began his musical education studying percussion with the symphony and playing drums in punk rock bands. It quickly transitioned to techno when at the age of fifteen he discovered the endless possibilities of new sounds that only synths and drum machines could provide. Weekend forays into Detroit’s nightlife ultimately led him to move to the city and brought him in touch with the Minus crew. It was only a matter of time until some of Gaiser’s work fell into Richie Hawtin’s hands. He’s a musician who lives off his instincts, channelling his moods and emotions directly into his computer, translating new experiences and sensations into sound. There simply is no other way. Music has always been in his blood, his early punk rock exploits counter-balanced by the more considered approach needed to learn piano and symphonic percussion and by drawing on these earlier experiences, he has avoided the genre’s more self-referential clichés.

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How was created your album "False light"? My main idea while working on this album was to go into the studio and have as much fun as possible, I wanted to create something where each track complemented each other, where all of the tracks relate to each other in a way so that the whole album tells a story. But ultimately, I wanted it to be a fun story.

What’s your ratio of production to release? The past two years, I was really light on the releases. A lot of people were making jokes like, “Oh, I thought you were dead.” I just wanted to play everything I wrote. I wanted to just keep my live set fresh and see the response to it instead of putting out another release.

Would you ever produce a classical music or even a punk album? Do you think you’d ever get tired of techno? Yes! To the first question that is… I would love to find the time to record a classical album and a full-on hardcore punk album, for sure. It will definitely be a seriously ambitious studio adventure for each, but I’m pretty sure that both will happen sometime before I die. I still listen to a lot of symphonic and punk, and I always have tons of ideas bouncing around in my head. I’m also quite sure that I will never get tired of electronic music, because for me the main point is creating new sounds that have never been heard before. Electronic music is constantly changing and thanks to technology it will keep on doing so. There are so many new pieces of gear and sound tools being developed every day, and I get so much inspiration by testing and experimenting with them to create something new and unique. It’s a constant process and you’re learning something new every day. I love it.

Would you ever work with another imprint or even launch your own label? I don’t really have any reason to start my own label at the moment. If I did, it would only be the outlet for any crazy ideas that I come up with. When you’re working with people who care about it, there is more attention to detail… from the conceptual stage, all the way to the finalised product. Everything is thought out, and results in something everybody is proud of. It all comes down to an amazing group of like-minded people who work hard to create something that we all believe in.

Do you feel like you’ve gotten better as an artist?
I feel like I have progressed in some ways and changed quite a bit. I wouldn’t say “gotten better,” but developed. You have to know your tools. They are an extension of your hands, and once you feel comfortable—where you know what your hands are doing without your mind thinking about it too much—that’s where the creativity comes from.

Who is your Idol? This is Richie Hawtin. Ever since I heard his play 'Withdrawal' at Sonar back in June, I’ve been dying to first, know what it was, and second, get my grubby little paws on it when it finally came out. Here is a man who can take things to the next level, and if you thought his sound had been firmly pigeonholed in the bleepy shrill whistle effects from 'Neural Block, 'Withdrawal' is not one to stand still. It's one of the most refreshing, warm, melodic songs I’ve heard in a long time.

How important are loyalty, trust and friendship in the dance music industry? Not just in the music industry, but in life in general… loyalty, trust and friendship are extremely important and create strong relationships that you can rely on and build upon. It’s also these relationships that inspire you creatively, brainstorming ideas back and forth with those close to you, which allows ideas to develop to their full potential. When you are surrounded by people who support you, and also help you see things a different way, it can help you significantly on your path to wherever it is you want to go.
What else do you have in the pipeline for 2017?

What is always next for me, is more experimenting and recording. And also, the album tour will be starting around the release of the album, so most of this year will be spent on tour. While I’m on tour, I’m always brainstorming new ideas of how to make the live show more of a complete experience, bringing both the audio and visual together to create a unified and immersive atmosphere. The objective is to create a living, breathing visual experience that will flow together with the audio in a way that represents to your eyes what your ears are hearing. It’s really important to have a proper visual representation that fits well, and has the same feeling of the music to create an atmosphere that is greater than the sum of its parts. I’ve been looking to develop a live visual aspect of the show for a long time and I’m happy that with Ahmet we are able to achieve this. A properly executed visual representation of the audio can take the entire experience to the next level of the senses. At least we have two of the senses covered, and for a live show it’s not really possible to attempt taste, touch, and smell.


Nearly a decade has passed since the electronic music community first heard Gaiser’s name. Needless to say, his talent is continually a force to be reckoned with. Unafraid to experiment with pushing boundaries, Gaiser has kept his eager listeners only guessing at what will come next.

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